Gonna make this garden grow

In remembrance of Pete Seeger, who I do believe always wished to re-create Arcadia here, there, everywhere.

[caption id="attachment_270" align="alignnone" width="625"]Arcadia One imagining of Arcadia[/caption]

Weekend roundup

[caption id="attachment_264" align="alignnone" width="625"]Kiki Kiki[/caption]
Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower?
But I could never sell.
If you would like to borrow
Until the daffodil
Unties her yellow bonnet
Beneath the village door,
Until the bees, from clover rows
Their hock and sherry draw,
Why, I will lend until just then,
But not an hour more!

--Emily Dickinson, To Buy a Flower

What we did: My better half toiled, yet again, on the front courtyard garden. It'll be ready by Superbowl Sunday. Pictures to follow.

I started clearing up the front garden bed, where this amazing vine grows in splendour:

[caption id="attachment_252" align="alignnone" width="563"]The magestic Bignonia capreolata, Crossvine (N) The majestic Bignonia capreolata, Crossvine (N)[/caption]

Meet Bignonia capreolata, also known as the Crossvine. A native plant for this region, left to us by the predecessors of this house (they left us quite a few lovely native plants to enjoy). While turning over the soil in this front garden bed in preparation for seed sowing, I discovered a little daughter of the mother, and couldn't pass up the chance to welcome her into what we hope will be a haven for all manner of native insects and bees, butterflies, and of course, a haven for us human folk as well. I found what should be a comfy spot for our - ha - little Bignonia. She'll take full sun or part sun, any sort of soil although she prefers a neutral ph. Once established, she's drought tolerant. She loves a wooden fence to grow on. Hummingbirds and bees love her. She's perfection. And here she is, in her little new home:


Take another look, go on:

[caption id="attachment_254" align="alignnone" width="625"]Little Bignonia Capreolata, in her new digs. Little Bignonia Capreolata, in her new digs.[/caption]

To give you a better sense of perspective, she's in the sort of South-East-ish corner of the back garden, by the gate that leads to the magical meadow and the bayou (a post on that magical place will come soon).

[caption id="attachment_255" align="alignnone" width="625"]Home, sweet, home. Home, sweet, home.[/caption]

Sweet journeying, little Bignonia. Also, Oxalis violacea has made a few sweet appearances around the garden, in front and back:

[caption id="attachment_256" align="alignnone" width="625"]Oxalis Violacea Oxalis Violacea[/caption]

Last weekend, I planted fava beans, since I was itching to do something with our rather woeful looking raised beds:

[caption id="attachment_257" align="alignnone" width="500"]Oh, woe is me. Oh, woe is me.[/caption]

Very little has happened this winter. I hear that it's been far less sunny than other gardeners remember in previous years. It has also been much cooler. Two exceptions to our rather dormant set of plants here are the lettuces and rocket in the back, and the green onions in the front. Oh - the green onions are rather a cheat on my part. They're from the grocery store, and sat in our fridge before I decided to stick them in the ground and see what they'd do. So far, they're doing beautifully! Behold:

[caption id="attachment_258" align="alignnone" width="500"]Grocery green onions. Grocery green onions.[/caption]

This little 4x4 patch makes me smile. These lettuces and arugula have survived multiple hard freezes, with a bit of help from us:


Can you see this and not smile? Or this:

[caption id="attachment_261" align="alignnone" width="625"]Smiling lettuces. Smiling lettuces.[/caption]

There, you're smiling back at them now, aren't you? Funny, how lettuces can do that.

So, anyway, I planted these fava beans into some of the empty spaces of the square foot garden. But I had a couple of left over seeds that I had stashed in a pot, and decided to put those into the ground today.

[caption id="attachment_262" align="alignnone" width="625"]Posing with a dear little worm. Two friends. Holding all the promise of the universe. Two fava beans with a dear little worm. Three's company, too.[/caption]

These mighty creatures are nitrogen fixers, and don't need staking, to boot! So, do cross your fingers and send a little prayer their way, that they'll flourish. Here's their little place:

[caption id="attachment_263" align="alignnone" width="625"]Peace out. Peace out.[/caption]

See you in Arcadia!


Dreaming and doodling on paper

O killing north wind, cease!
Come, south wind, that awakenest love!
Blow through my garden,
And let its odours flow,
And the Beloved shall feed among the flowers.

-- St. John of the Cross

[caption id="attachment_245" align="alignnone" width="625"]Perennial dreams Perennial dreams[/caption]

A first spring in a first home; a first garden plan for the front. Consisting of natives: sunflowers, sago, turks' cap, prairie clover, coreposis, rudbeckias, crossvine, coneflower, and other butterfly and bee-loving plants, hardy in Houston: rue, amaranth, bachelors' buttons.

Now you see it...

[caption id="attachment_235" align="alignnone" width="563"]The better half toils The better half toils[/caption]

Now, you don't!

[caption id="attachment_238" align="alignnone" width="563"]Space! Space![/caption]

I was for keeping the wooden trellis, but it was rotting at the base. The wood is stored in the garage, waiting for another purpose, another life. We've been filling in the space that the stones took up with soil dug out from the front courtyard garden. Digging those stones was no easy feat, as my tired self clearly and rather compromisingly shows:

[caption id="attachment_241" align="alignnone" width="563"]Stopping to rest, every two seconds. Stopping to rest, every two seconds.[/caption]